Agency Web sites: Part Deux
February 4th, 2010
Posted by Jose Villa
So back in November I posted a critique of ad agency Web sites, prompted by the heralded launch of Lopez Negrete’s (a prominent Hispanic ad agency) new Web site. Besides a single comment on the post criticizing me for throwing stones while
living in a glass house (I never claimed my agency’s Web site was a case study to be emulated), I heard that a lot of folks in the Hispanic ad business were not happy with my post.
I’d like to take this opportunity to clarify and further explain the point of my post, which seems to have been lost on the example I used.
I recently read somewhere that there are 75,000 different ad agencies in the U.S. Most of them were started before 2007 (a key “dividing line” in my mind between when digital was considered just merely a vehicle (pre-2007) and a disruptive technology that upended everything we know about marketing and communications (post-2007)). Therefore most agencies are not what I would call “digital natives” – firms that inherently understand and have integrated digital communications into their “DNA” (to use a hackneyed agency term). This lack of digital focus / DNA is particularly acute among ethnic ad agencies, especially Hispanic ad agencies.
Now my post was meant to start a discussion around this very important issue – are ad agencies, and Hispanic ad agencies specifically, truly ready to embrace the new central role of digital in what they do for their clients? I recently wrote an AdAge article claiming that they are not, and the Web site example that prompted my original post was simply meant as living example of this gap between where agencies need to be and where they currently are.
Don’t get me wrong – I believe deeply in the importance and increasingly important role that Hispanic ad agencies play and will continue to play in the ad industry. I want to see our industry evolve, grow, and prosper. Understanding and truly embracing digital is no longer a nice bullet point to include in a new business pitch – it’s the difference between thriving and being left behind in this rapidly evolving industry. I want to see my Hispanic marketing colleagues thrive!
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